The final stretch of the year can be a very hectic time. In the rush of daily duties and preparations for all the festivities it can be easy for something to fall through the cracks of memory. Sometimes it’s just the small things that get forgotten, stuff you can easily go without or fix in a jiffy with a quick trip to a mall.
Sometimes, however, you forget to get somebody a holiday present, and you only become aware of this on the eve of the big day. Not optimal, and it would be considered rude in some circles.
Thankfully, with the wonders of online shopping, finding fantastic last-minute gifts is not only possible: it’s easy and accessible. Doubly so, if you think a digital gift would be appreciated, because there are many exciting options.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the practice of last-minute gifting, and then we’ll hop into the good stuff: things you could rely on as improvised presents, available just a few clicks away.
The wonder of the modern age
There was a time, when last-minute gifts were, by necessity, somewhat… bad. Perhaps it was hard to find budget for something good, the best options were already sold out, or worse yet, the most interesting stores were on their holiday break. But these times are over if you have access to the internet.
Not only do you have a chance to find stores which could help you out in a pinch with fast premium delivery, you can also rely on the uncountable treasures of the digital world.
You don’t have to find an open and stocked video game store to grab an emergency copy of a new Legend of Zelda or Resident Evil for your nephew, you can go online and get him an activation key. It might not look as impressive as a boxed edition, but it’s the game that matters.
Better yet, when you’re shopping online you aren’t limited to the dregs of stock and awkwardly fitting them into the budget. It’s easy to find something interesting and get a good deal on it. If you buy a digital product, your only problem is finding a nice card and envelope to put the activation code in. But that’s easy to handle, isn’t it?
For your gaming friends and family
The age of digital distribution means that all you need to give somebody a game is an activation code…and knowing the hardware the recipient is playing, to pick the right version. We’re going to give you an interesting option for each of the four major platforms.
For Nintendo Switch
If there’s one game on Switch you should absolutely consider, there’s no doubt it’s this year’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. If there are two, you should add the previous game in the series,Breath of the Wild.
Together or alone, they present a beautiful, immersive, world to explore, many puzzles to solve in creative ways, and an epic story about heroes, monsters, and ancient wars which left lingering scars on people and the land. All presented in a family-friendly form perfect for all ages.
For Xbox Series X/S
Hi-Fi Rush is a musical hack’n’slash adventure in the style of Devil May Cry. It mixes fast-paced action with a rhythm games, because everything happens to a steady beat. The game puts players in the sport shoes of Chai, a young man with big ambitions, magnetic arm, and a corporation which accidentally fused his music player to his heart.
It might sound silly, but the game is excellent, especially if you have a good ear for music and rhythm.
For PlayStation 5
Undoubtedly, the biggest PlayStation 5 game of the year is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, a fantastic game starring two Spider-Men: Peter Parker and Miles Morales, joining forces after their solo outings in previous games in the series.
This time they are dealing with Kraven the Hunter, and Venom, but the true star of the game is the thrill and joy of web-slinging through the city and dealing with big and small problems troubling the regular folk.
There are infinite options for a great PC-oriented game, but this year one of the biggest titles was the full release of Baldur’s Gate 3, a new entry into a classic series, this time delivered by developer Larian Studios.
Based on the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, it is a sweeping story full of heroic battles, tender moments, and hundreds of choices which can make every playthrough different. It’s one of the best RPGs of the decade, and a treat for any fan of fantasy and turn-based combat.
In addition to games, you might also consider gifting the lucky gamer a premium experience on their chosen platform. Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation alike have premium services,called Nintendo Switch Online, Xbox Game Pass Core, and PlayStation Plus, respectively.
Even PC has access to Game Pass and Game pass Ultimate, unlocking a huge library of games and deals freely available as long as the subscription lasts.
For people who prefer utility and education
Digital era hasn’t arrived just to gaming. It’s never been easier to get software for work and hobby than it is today. Office software, creative tools, benchmarking software abound. If you’re in doubt what to get, it’s never a wrong idea to help somebody invest in security with one of the many antivirus and VPN options.
You could also find a voucher for an online course. It’s easier than ever to explore a new topic, or broader one’s horizons, and many such courses won’t ever require the giftee to adjust their schedules or go anywhere: they’ll be entirely self-paced, and never asking anyone to abandon the comfort of the familiar home office.
A perfect gift for somebody whose hobby is learning new skills.
For audio- and cine-philes
So far it’s been all active: games to play, software to use, courses to complete. But there’s more to life than doing things. Perhaps the person you’re trying to find a last-minute gift for is already busy enough and could use some leisure time, kick back on a couch and just relax.
This is where media subscriptions come in handy! Get a full deck of gift cards for services such as Spotify and iTunes for music and podcasts, or Netflix and Hulu for movies, shows, and documentaries.
There isn’t enough time in anybody’s life to see and hear everything these services have to offer, and a month, three (or twelve) of subscription might be just the right present to give somebody.
The last resort
All the options above assume you know what to get somebody. Of course, things aren’t always so obvious. Perhaps you’re looking for something to give a niece you haven’t seen in six years or looking for a symbolic gift for a cousin’s fiancée. You don’t know these people, you don’t know what they are about, and a mismatched gift is worse than a convenient one.
Unlike a subscription service, a card for stores like Amazon or even Walmart gives your gift recipient freedom to get something they actually want. It saves you the trouble of looking for public wishlists and trying to suss things out from conversations.
The stores stock items from a thousand different categories, from toys and books to electronics and house appliances, so there is virtually zero risk that somebody would be unable to find something that’ll make them glad they got that gift card from you.
It’s efficient, effective. Gift cards might have been awkward and in poor taste before so much shopping went online, but now it’s just an amazing convenience for everybody. It also removes the awkward moment when both sides realize the gift was poorly picked and try to smile through the interaction.
On the eleventh hour go digital
All the options we mentioned are merely the tip of the iceberg of possible gift cards and digital items you can find on our marketplace, and their common denominator is instant delivery and attractive prices. Exactly the thing you need when you’ve lost track of the gift shopping list and now it’s too late to get anything with a fancy box and a festive ribbon.
Of course, one of the best parts of good last-minute gifts is that they will also be a solid option if you prepare them well ahead of time. Maybe you’ll print the activation keys on card stock to make them look official, or even get an official physical version, if applicable. When you have time to plan, you can go above and beyond.
Hopefully, your last-minute gift fears have gone away and you’ve found exactly when you need to make this work despite the lack of time.
With that hope, we wish you calm, joyous holidays spent with people you love, doing things you could never find time for during the year.